Resources Part 2. Science and Technology, HSiE, PDHPE and individual projects

Science and Technology


Open University textbooks for the S103 Introducing Science course. These are left over from when I used to teach for the Open University. (The course has been superseded by S104 Exploring Science.) I don’t necessarily get the children to read them, or to do any of the more rigorous number-crunching, but they are useful to have for the graphics, a general overview of science and some interesting details should they want to probe deeper.

BBC Bitesize. The BBC schools website is such a great site. Their authors have a great ability to summarise the key points of each topic, and there are some wonderful animations and games.

Activity on changing state from BBC Bitesize Science

Activity on changing state from BBC Bitesize Science

If you are using the BBC resources from outside the UK, please note that in England and Wales KS1 covers Years 1 and 2, and KS2 is all of Years 3 to 6. KS3 is the start of high school, unlike in Australia where it is the last two years of primary school. However I often find that the KS3 activities are still appropriate for my primary science students.

Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding by Bernie Nebel (book). I don’t follow this very closely but I like his approach, and again, it provides a broad overview and a good grounding in science.

Powerhouse Museum. It’s not as good as the Science Museum or the Natural History Museum in London, but there are a few good exhibitions and we have attended several workshops/shows there.

Fizzics Education. Pokemon Boy has attended several classes run by this organisation.

CSIRO, who send out science and maths activities by e-mail and also run a few classes for primary aged children.

Intellego Unit Studies. I have their Electricity booklet for years 3-5, and bought one of their Chemistry booklets for Pokemon Boy to work through in Term 2.


Human Society and its Environment (HSiE)

World History for us All

RIC Society and Environment books D to G. These are blackline masters books (i.e. ones you can photocopy as many times as you like). They are undoubtedly better value for schoolteachers than homeschoolers, but I like to pick and choose from them and they give us a satisfying pile of paper to put in the HSiE part of our files. I think I am making quite good use of them given that we are still in NSW and I have three boys at different stages in school. Currently we are using them as springboards for the ‘Cultures’ and ‘Identity’ part of the HSiE syllabus.

SBS TV programmes e.g. Go Back to Where You Came From

Hyde Park Barracks

The Rocks Museum

The Sydney Observatory

The Maritime Museum



Personal Development, Health and Physical Education (PDHPE)

External teachers, e.g. Fit Kids, Little Dragons Kickboxing, Little Athletics.

Relax Kids

Quandary game for iPad

I plan to use a book called “Set for Success” which has activities to help executive function. I think everyone in our family needs help getting more organised!

I’ve also noticed some programmes on ABC iView, called ‘My Big Adventure’, which might be good for Pokemon Boy.


Individual projects

Pokemon Boy’s Minecraft Mod Design course: Youth Digital

This term (Term 2 2014) Pokemon Boy is doing a project based on the Ranger’s Apprentice series of books. He has been researching archery, survival skills and camouflage on the internet, is making himself a ‘bronze oakleaf’ pendant in his art classes and plans to make a cloak and to try archery classes.

Oakleaf pendants: image by Kirsten Stiles on flickr

Drama King’s Viking project in Term 1: Usborne book, books from library on Vikings and on comics, Odd and the Frost Giants, Norse myths. Loads of Viking lapbooks on the internet but didn’t really use them.

This term Drama King is doing Mod Design with Youth Digital.

Reptile Boy started off Term 1 doing his Colour lapbook by ‘In the Hands of a Child’ but moved on to one about Turtles, Tortoises and Terrapins. I will have to check who wrote the second lapbook. We supplemented the work with some internet research and books from the library.

This term Reptile Boy is writing a book called ‘Going on a Blaze Hunt’, taking place in the Minecraft world but based on Michael Rosen’s version of ‘Going on a Bear Hunt’. We haven’t really used any resources for this, just the game, the book and our own brainstorming.




About scimumsam

An ex scientist living in Australia, currently tutoring maths and science and homeschooling my own children. I blog about science and maths education on, and homeschooling (infrequently) on lookingslantwise.
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